Hydration

Hi!

I hope it’s perfectly fine with you if I talk about something other than Melania Trump, police brutality, Brexit, or Kanye West.  The news literally gets weirder and darker every single day.  With the exception of the Taylor/Kanye thing, which I fully plan to discuss my theories on that at some point this week.

However, let’s take a total right turn, and talk about something not awful and stormy, but something really really necessary for summer survival.  Hydration!

Okay, so I’ve always been pretty good about hydration, especially since I spent those summers at camp.  At camp, I was there before canteens really started coming out with any significant ounce-age (not a real word), so I started making a habit out of buying 101-oz Deer Park containers and just toting those with me to camp.  And then again when I started running seriously, water was crucial to avoid bonking on long runs and not damaging muscle terribly when I went for a run.

Now, I’m still super active, and lifting more, but my drive to stay hydrated isn’t just for the purposes of keeping me afloat (tee hee) in a long workout or during a long day of teaching classes, but it’s also to keep me from having contractions and to get into the habit of drinking constantly so that I can keep my breast milk supply up once the baby gets here.  Plus I think it helps with some of the headaches I was getting really badly in the first tri…which we can also chalk up to the first tri just being a miserable time in life.

First off, here’s the trick I was kind of given by a nurse 21 weeks or so in, when I was overdoing it, and ended up spending a day on the couch with my feet propped up.  On the phone, the nurse told me to try and get 30 oz. of water in before lunch, and then another 40 or so after lunch.  Sounds like a lot, but it’s plenty doable with a few tricks I’ve mastered over the past few weeks that totally help you get more clear stuff in.  Plus, with all that liquid in, getting diet soda in is harder.  My like main vice, even though I consider myself fairly healthy, and plenty active is artificial sweetener, but I figured at some point that that can’t be awesome for the baby, so I’ve backed off a lot.  Tricks to stay hydrated, especially in the summertime!

Get cute/large water bottles or canteens.  

I’m a big believer in keeping some sort of water bottle with you at all times, because there will never get to be a point in the day when you’re like CRAP, I’ve had nothing to drink all day long!  I tend to gravitate toward larger, double-walled ones that are pricier, but can keep things cold.  The thing about the price is that it’s something that you’re toting around daily, and you’re not reaching for plastic bottles consistently, which is really not great for you, or for the environment.  I have a S’well (24 oz.), another S’well (17 oz.), a Yeti (30 oz.), and  I’m in the market for a larger canteen since I’m drinking more lately.

Really quick.  The S’well is cute, and a fashion statement I kinda, think, but it’s hard to shove ice cubes in it.  I stick to plain water from one of those tappy things at the water fountain for this.  The Yeti is great because you can get ice in there and it can fit in most machines.  It’s not very pretty though, and I had to buy a separate lid with a straw in it so I wouldn’t have to sip out of it like a coffee mug.  I am totally open to suggestions for a slightly larger, double-walled canteen.  

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Start early!

I do my best on water on days when I have to get up really early for class, and I have to drink to get through classes.  On Friday mornings, I get up around 5am to get to my 5:45am class, and typically can at least get a Yeti in during/after class.

Seltzer

I really love anything carbonated, but I can’t slam Diet Cokes all day.  Just no good.  So, when I’m really wanting  something super super cold and bubbly, I’ve done a few flavored seltzers, in the the form of Dasani Sparkling, but my absolute favorite thing is to stop by the Burger King and get plain seltzer out of their Coca-Cola remix machine.  It’s always super cold, and overcarbonated, so it really has the most delightful effect.

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Monitor your pee.

This is a sorta-gross trick I picked up, that I start using heavily whenever I’m heavy into a training cycle for a marathon. This trick sort of also depends on what supplements you’re taking – a multivitamin or a prenatal can turn your pee BRIGHT yellow, but otherwise, you should be operating in light yellow territory. The darker it gets, the more your eyebrows should raise.

Those are the best I can do on a few tips to stay headache-free this summer.

  • What are your tricks to keep your water intake up?
  • Any suggestions on a slightly-larger canteen that I can start to use as I try and get in a few more ounces throughout the day?

Q: How do I make a water stop without spilling the water all over myself?

This question was actually texted to me by a good friend, Taylor Doe.  I friggin love technology

Taylor is a schoolteacher from Colorado.  We met during an audition for our college a cappella audition (yes, I sang a cappella, and I’m damn proud of it), and we became fast friends.  Taylor just completed her first half marathon, the Disney Princess Half, in February, and though she’s a devout worshiper of the Church of the Boston Red Sox, we’ve been able to put our differences aside and continue in harmony.

Taylor Doe
Taylor Doe

So onto the question!

I’d be lying to you if I told you I’ve completely mastered the art of the water stop. (For those of you new to racing, the water stop is a table, usually staffed by race or community volunteers, who hold out dixie cups of water, and sometimes Gatorade, for runners of a race. The more miles? The more stops!) A few factors make the water stop difficult. One, you never are quite sure what side of the road the stop is going to be on. Once you figure it out, there isn’t a blinker tattooed on your butt, telling the runners behind you you’re switching lanes, so it can be kind of a cluster moving over without tripping up someone behind you.  Two, once you get there, a little girl is handing you this cup of water that you’re supposed to drink while jogging?  And then you try to politely litter while a disgruntled Boy Scout glares at you from behind his ice scraper that’s doubling as a dixie wax cup scraper by tossing it gently onto the nearest sidewalk.  It’s tricky!

So here’s what I figured out.  When you’re racing and you’re trying to get water at a water stop:

Try and look ahead to see where the stop is.  The further out you have it figured out, the smarter you can be about getting over to the table.  Then, reach your hand out and firmly grab the water.  That sounds ridiculous, but you totally have to commit.  If you don’t you may end up spilling a cup of water all over a little girl in 50-degree beach-windy weather.  Like I did. 😦 If the cup is too full for you to take a shot, dump a little out on the ground, slightly crumple the cup, and toss it back like a shot.  Commit to it, or you’ll choke.  If you need more?  Grab another cup, and do the same.  But there is nothing more miserable than trying to toss back a cup of too-full water or Gatorade.

My last bit of advice?  Turn your shocks on while you’re cruising the water stop.  What I mean?  This isn’t the time to start galloping about like a great big horse.  Smooth your jog down, and commit to that cup!